Last week I led a Writing Tune-Up for a world-class investment company. When we talked about new rules for email, one woman suggested this rule:
Don’t have business discussions in email. It’s not efficient. If you want to talk with a group of people, schedule a meeting and send out an agenda.
Another woman countered that suggestion. Her view was:
Have discussions in email. That way, you will have a written record of everyone’s contribution. At too many live meetings, no one takes notes, so there is no record of everyone’s ideas. Also, in email you can have a conversation with people in Seattle, London, and Tokyo without worrying about what time it is on the other side of the world.
I agree with both. Email discussions can be messy, but they are a great alternative for international communication. And live meetings are much more productive when someone takes notes and distributes them than when no one does.
Do you have suggestions about how to make email discussions more efficient? Please share them.